Can you wash guinea pigs?


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Yes, you can wash guinea pigs, but it is important to keep some crucial factors in mind. Washing your guinea pig too frequently can disrupt their natural oil production and cause skin irritation.

The ideal frequency is once a month or every two months, depending on your guinea pig’s environment and lifestyle.

It’s not necessary to bathe them frequently, as guinea pigs are generally clean animals who groom themselves. However, there are situations when a bath may be beneficial:

  • If their fur becomes soiled with urine or feces.
  • When they have a fungal or parasitic skin issue.
  • For certain long-haired breeds that may require additional grooming.

Dos and don’ts of washing guinea pigs


  • Spot clean your guinea pig with a damp cloth if they are dirty or smelly. Focus on areas like their paws, hindquarters, and around the ears.
  • Brush your guinea pig’s fur to remove loose hair and debris. This is especially important during shedding seasons and for long-haired breeds.
  • Keep their cage clean and dry. Regularly change bedding, remove soiled areas, and wipe down surfaces to prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria.


  • Don’t submerge your guinea pig in water, as this can cause stress, shock, and respiratory issues. Instead, use a shallow container or a sink with a very low level of water.
  • Don’t use human shampoo or soap on your guinea pig, as these can be harmful to their skin. Use a mild, unscented pet-safe shampoo if needed.
  • Don’t wash your guinea pig too often, as it can strip their skin of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Spot cleaning and brushing should be sufficient for most guinea pigs.

5-step guide to washing guinea pigs

Step 1

Prepare a suitable space: Choose a sink or basin with a non-slip surface. Fill it with 2-3 inches of lukewarm water, ensuring it’s not too hot or cold for your furry friend.

Step 2

Gently place your guinea pig in the water: While supporting their body, slowly introduce your pet to the water. Be cautious to avoid putting their head underwater to prevent potential respiratory issues.

Step 3

Use a gentle pet shampoo: Apply a small amount of pet-safe shampoo to your hands or a soft cloth, and lather it into your guinea pig’s fur. Avoid using human shampoo, as it may cause skin irritation.

Step 4

Rinse thoroughly: Gently pour or spray lukewarm water on your pet to remove the shampoo. Be meticulous in removing all soap residues to prevent skin reactions.

Step 5

Dry and warm your guinea pig: After removing your pet from the water, wrap them in a soft, absorbent towel. Gently pat and rub them dry, making sure they are completely dry before returning them to their habitat. Ensure they don’t get cold, as guinea pigs are sensitive to temperature changes.

FAQs washing guinea pigs

How often should you bathe your guinea pig?

If your guinea pig needs a bath, it should typically be done no more than once every two months. However, it is important to consult your veterinarian for advice on your specific guinea pig’s needs.

What type of shampoo should you use?

Use a mild, unscented shampoo specifically formulated for small animals or guinea pigs. Avoid using human shampoos, as they may contain ingredients that are harmful or irritating to your guinea pig’s sensitive skin.

Final thoughts 💭

If your furry friend really needs a bath because of a health issue, they’re super dirty, or the vet recommends it, here’s what you do: Use a shallow container, some warm (not hot) water, and a gentle pet shampoo. Remember not to dunk your guinea pig fully in water, and don’t let them get too cold or too hot.

After bath time, it’s super important to dry your guinea pig well. Use a towel and a hair dryer on a low heat setting, but be careful not to hurt their sensitive ears with loud noises.

If you make a habit of grooming your guinea pig and only give them baths when it’s really needed, you’ll have a clean, healthy, and happy little pet!

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